When we have to carry for a long period of time, it’s sometimes fairly difficult to be comfortable after 8-10 hours of constant carrying. After a few hours of driving, it can sometimes cause discomfort or hot spots on your body. When this happens, oftentimes people will immediately jump to the type of pants you’re wearing or blame it on the holster after thinking of it. Both of these are possible to cause issues with sitting comfortably or wearing it all day, but the vast majority is not due to a Kydex or leather holster. The real culprit is typically the belt you’re carrying with, and it’s not always the easiest piece of gear to identify as an issue but let’s dive into the good and bad of carry belts.
Poor Belts For Carrying Concealed
Having anything that is flimsy or thin as a belt is generally a bad choice for concealed carrying. Hate to break it to you guys, but your hemp cloth belt from hacky sack competitions in high school. Anything you can easily bend in half will give you little to no support and will have your holster move over time. I’ve used my fair share of thin leather belts for suits and formal events but if you plan on carrying I would choose another option. The big issue with a thin undersized belt is the fact it oftentimes will give the holster room to move about and shift on your body over time. This not only starts to rub on your side but also can change the overall position of your carry gun.
Having a handgun that can move around will also lead to printing without the carrier even knowing. Now I know some of you are saying to just tighten up the belt, but that can also lead to chafing or hot spots on certain parts of your waist after a full day of carrying. Having a good carry gun belt is like goldilocks finding the just-right balance for carrying a handgun, it’s trying out different things and finding what works best.
Finding A Decent Carry Belt
Finding a good belt for daily use can be fairly easy with a few key traits to look for. Probably the two most important traits are the thickness and the overall rigidity of your carry belt. Having a nice thick belt will help secure the holster much better than a flimsy belt and will keep the gun in a specific spot way easier than something that allows movement. A great way to test the thickness and overall rigidity is trying to fold the belt so the edges touch each other.
If the edges can touch with a small amount of pressure, that typically means you need to find a stronger belt for daily carry. Having that rigidity can definitely help with keeping the gun tight to your body without overtightening your belt. If you want a ” do all” belt without looking tactical, having a stiff leather belt from a reputable company will make all the difference for daily carrying.
The “Perfect” Carry Belt
Over the years, I’ve tried dozen of belts and by far the most comfortable and overall the most supportive belt I’ve found is the Blue Alpha Hybrid EDC belt. I’ve used the Hybrid EDC belt for roughly two years and I have been happier than with any other belt I’ve previously used. The 5.11 carry belts especially their leather line are a great alternative if you’re looking to dress up but still have a strong belt.
Having a belt with a strong lockup and the ability to be easily adjusted makes life way easier when you’re carrying concealed on a daily basis. Blue Alpha does a nice job making a small cobra latch that can fit through most belt loops but offers a rock-solid lockup. There are a few other great options out there but this is the belt I have been more than happy with over the last couple years.
Belts are one of those items that can easily be overlooked but are vital to properly carrying a concealed firearm. Having a proper belt with adequate thickness can make carrying a full-size gun all day much easier. Just like everything else, it’s extremely important to have the right materials for the right job. Having a great carry belt is a vital part of having a dependable loadout along with a quality holster and firearm. Let me know what you typically carry with in the comments below. If you have questions feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.